The view from my studio this morning is stunning; the view is always gorgeous when it’s cold outside. The windows are slightly fogged from the heat of the room leftover from this morning’s class resting up against the brisk air on the other side. The river, just below the windows, is still mostly covered by the heavy winter snow of February with just a few breaks to show the water rushing rapidly beneath. It’s cold for a late March morning but it is northern New Hampshire where they always say, “if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.”
We are in a time of transition when the weather fluctuates from warm breezes and a strong spring sun to the remnants of winter gripping to the eaves of houses and ushering cold air back into our bones. And often it’s a time of great despair and frustration as we curse the cold for hanging on too long and wish for spring to take full flight. But times of transition are powerful even if they appear to be disruptive and confusing when we are in the midst of them. Every great evolution and revolution began with a time of transition, where the shift of all things felt strong enough to move from what once was a foundation to something new. And yet we are so eager to get through the transition quickly, unscathed so we can move on.
I had the great fortune of watching the movie Boyhood this weekend with my husband and there’s a great line at the end in which they realize that most of us are waiting to seize the moment, experience the big moment in our life, the time and space on the other side of a transition but what life is really about is each moment seizing us. That implies to me that the transition itself, every moment of the transition, is the place to be not cursing the old and rushing forward to the new. And depending on the situation, this could be tough. Transitions are packed with shifts of reality, emotions, patterns and behavior leaving us sometimes feeling unsafe and unsecure. Our plans and calculated processes often have to take a backseat and we have to detach, trust the unknown. But as Deepak Chopra says in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, “In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty . . . . . in the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the known, which is the prison of past conditioning. And in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe.”
A bit scary but at the same time, a bit exhilarating, this trusting uncertainty and stepping into the unknown which is what transitions are all about. For me, I’ve struggled in the past with transitions and I’m sure there are still some that I resist against today. But I’ve also experienced detaching from the known, relinquishing my need to plan every step moving forward, letting go of the need to move on so quickly, and fully being aware and present during each moment of a transition. It’s powerful. Sometimes it feels very freeing. Sometimes it makes me cry. Sometimes I can literally feel life slowing down to the beat of my heart. I’ll spend these 21-days reflecting on transitions as I patiently wait for spring to fully arrive and be present in this time of unpredictability and uncertainty. It’s cold today but the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and I’m alive to experience it all. Welcome to the transition phase!